art, Forgotten Australians, memories, painting

What Mrs Letherby did for us

Artist Rachael Romero, who was in the The Pines, the Convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Plympton, South Australia shares her painting of an inspirational teacher.

Rachael explains:

Briefly, a kind old woman was brought in to supervise our studies. Her name was Mrs Mary Letherby, she was only there a week or two.
We expected her to think of us as defiled like the nuns did. But she did something nobody else had done–she treated us as human.
She listened to us and accepted us untarnished by the atrocities we’d experienced. We were amazed.
This gave us hope when we had none.
After we got out several of us went to see her. Her compassion changed our lives.
Although she died not long after she has inspired me all my life.

Artwork showing a woman gathering three young women in her arms.
22×30″ copyright Rachael Romero

1 thought on “What Mrs Letherby did for us”

  1. That’s so moving Rachael,
    Thank you.

    Your painting and commentary reminds me of the film “Song for a Raggy Boy” (which can be borrowed from CLAN’s library for members of CLAN The film, set in Ireland, is based on a true story of an inspirational lay teacher at St Jude’s Reformatory School, run by the Christian Brothers.

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